“Now look you here, Carlyle, I won’t do Dick Hare an injury, even by a single word, if I can help it; and it is of no use setting me on to it.”
“I should be the last to set you on to injure any one, especially Richard Hare,” rejoined Mr. Carlyle; “and my motive is to do Richard Hare good, not harm. I hold a suspicion, no matter whence gathered, that it was not Richard Hare who committed the murder, but another. Can you throw any light upon the subject?”
“No, I can’t. I have always thought poor wavering Dick was nobody’s enemy but his own; but, as to throwing any light on that night’s work, I can’t do it. Cords should not have dragged me to the inquest to give evidence against Dick, and for that reason I was glad Locksley never let out that I was on the spot. How the deuce it got about afterward that I was, I can’t tell; but that was no matter; my evidence did not help on the verdict. And talking of that, Carlyle, how has it come to your knowledge that Richard Hare accosted me? I have not opened my lips upon it to mortal man.”
“It is of no consequence now,” repeated Mr. Carlyle; “I do know it, and that is sufficient. I was in hopes you had really seen this man Thorn leave the cottage.”
Otway Bethel shook his head. “I should not lay too much stress upon any Thorns having been there, were I you, Carlyle. Dick Hare was as one crazy that night, and might see shapes and forms where there were none.”
THE SONG AND THE DIRGE.
The concert was to take place on Thursday, and on the following Saturday Lord Mount Severn intended finally to quit East Lynne. The necessary preparations for departure were in progress, but when Thursday morning dawned, it appeared a question whether they would not once more be rendered nugatory. The house was roused betimes, and Mr. Wainwright, the surgeon from West Lynne, summoned to the earl’s bedside; he had experienced another and a violent attack. The peer was exceedingly annoyed and vexed, and very irritable.
“I may be kept here a week—a month—a fortnight—a month longer, now!” he uttered fretfully to Isabel.
“I am very sorry, papa. I dare say you do find East Lynne dull.”
“Dull! That’s not it; I have other reasons for wishing East Lynne to be quit of us. And now you can’t go to the concert.”
Isabel’s face flushed. “Not go, papa?”
“Why, who is to take you. I can’t get out of bed.”
“Oh, papa, I must be there. Otherwise it would like almost as though—as though we had announced what we did not mean to perform. You know it was arranged that we should join the Ducies; the carriage can still take me to the concert room, and I can go in with them.”
“Just as you please. I thought you would have jumped at any plea for staying away.”
“Not at all,” laughed Isabel. “I should like West Lynne to see that I don’t despise Mr. Kane and his concert.”